When a world-class tennis player and celebrity chef come together, aces are served, and in this exclusive conversation that took place at the Happy Viking event at Dumbo House last week, those aces just happen to be tips on how to start a diet.
Venus Williams and Chef Charity Morgan spoke with that of the beet Editorial Director, Lucy Danziger, on how to tackle the plant-based shift, where to get your protein, and what to do if you don’t want to give up on your favorite foods. (It’s simple, Charity explained: you turn them into vegan versions!)
For plant-based protein, containing 60 superfoods and vitamins and minerals, Venus explained that her latest company, a protein powder from Happy Viking, makes it even easier to start a plant-based lifestyle. With the kind of pea and rice protein you can take anywhere and whip up when you need a snack, a meal, or to refuel after a tough workout (of which she has a lot) , Happy Viking Solves The Manufacturing Problem Make sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs, without having to always have a brain bowl and a perfectly balanced dinner every day.
Venus created Happy Viking – first as a shake and now as a powder packed with protein and functional ingredients – which makes it easy to blend into a smoothie or blend with your favorite plant milk, to get your nutrients. anywhere. For Venus solved a problem in her life, as she had always worried about having enough nutrients, superfoods and protein on the go, as she launched her various fashion and beauty businesses and continued to grow. train and play tennis at the highest level.
Happy Viking is now a brand that allows everyone, not just professional athletes, to use for all of their herbal nutritional needs. Charity Morgan, the chef made most famous by her appearance in The Game Changers, the documentary about athletes who use plants for their health, recovery time and overall performance, has come up with unique recipes for using protein powder. in delicious, flavored, easy-to-swallow shakes. (The chocolate mint shake she made with the chocolate powder was the first empty tray at the meeting, where about 75 people came to hear Venus and Charity speak.)
Venus Williams, one of the best tennis players in the world, chooses plants for her health
Williams has been a vegan for ten years, having made the switch when she was diagnosed with Sjögren’s syndrome, an autoimmune disease that tires you out and has a variety of symptoms, most of them painful and too debilitating to allow you to exercise. highest level. Because she was willing to try anything to be healthier, the herbs were worth a try.
“Everyone told me to give up. I was 31 and they just said, go ahead and retire.” But the athlete wasn’t ready to just throw in the towel, she said. Venus spoke of the difficulties she was facing, and it was difficult to get out of bed some mornings, due to her illness. When a doctor suggested that she try herbs, she had nothing to lose. So she cut the meat and the dairy, and in a few weeks she felt stronger, and in just a few months she said she felt unstoppable. “I wanted to get to the root of the problem,” Willaims said. But she won’t call herself vegan, because she isn’t 100 percent strict about it. Instead, the tennis star calls her plant-based diet “chegan” because sometimes she admits she’ll get out of hand. “I just keep it real,” she said.
Vegan chef Charity Morgan agrees that it’s best not to set labels or expectations on yourself, but rather to try and gradually eat more plant-based and add a plant-based meal or two. per day, then see how much you like. taste. Morgan, who is married to Derek Morgan, a former Tennessee Titans linebacker for nine years, was executive producer of the popular herbal athlete documentary, The game changers, and knows exactly what plant-based athletes want to eat. Her husband gave up meat and dairy in 2017 to help his career, and Charity made the switch at the same time and started cooking meals for their new diet, along with his teammates, who noticed how much he was faster in training, and his game improved. They too wanted to eat this way to improve their performance.
The meals Charity shared with the Titan teammates quickly became famous throughout Nashville, and she began making an assembly line of take-out meals at their homes. She’s become the go-to chef for these players, turning veg into hearty meals sturdy enough to feed guys over six feet tall and some over three hundred pounds. Charity cooks all kinds of cuisine – Italian, American, or whatever her patrons love – but she is particularly inspired by a blend of soul and Caribbean cuisine, she says, of her Creole and Puerto Rican origin. “As far as soccer players go, I mainly serve classic American dishes like vegan burgers, chicken nuggets and fried mushrooms.”
When I started I asked them what they wanted, she explained, but after a while they trusted her to cook delicious food. “It’s easy to cook for these guys when they really didn’t know what they were eating,” she explained. “I had a player who told me he didn’t eat tofu so I called his wife and asked her if he was allergic and she said no he just doesn’t like the taste. So knowing that, I marinated the tofu in all kinds of rubs and spices and cut it into very thin slices, like it was bacon, and added it to his Caesar salad, and he couldn’t believe how much he loved tofu. “
Top Tips for Going Vegan, from Venus Williams and Charity Morgan:
1. Start slowly and add a meatless Monday, then a vegan taco Tuesday, and continue. If you are anxious to start all of a sudden you can do that too, but don’t brace yourself for high expectations just be nice to yourself and if you mess up say ‘it’s chegan’ and move on. to something else.
2. Eat what you like but make it vegan. Charity has mentioned dozens of recipes and they’re all in her book, Incredibly Vegan: Over 100 Life-Changing Plant-Based Recipes: A Cookbook, will be released in January, which will make things even easier.
3. Lose your bad habits and reconnect with where food comes from. “The kids are so much easier than dealing with all of you,” Charity said. “We have all these habits and things that we don’t think we can live without, but kids are so connected to animals and nature. I asked this kid to tell me that an apple was from the grocery store. and I thought I had a lot of work to do.
“But, if you take your kids to farms or gardens and when they learn what it takes to grow a fruit or a vegetable, they feel connected. Children’s brains are like sponges, so when you do that link makes it so much easier to help them eat more plant-based foods. “
4. To get a guy, like an athlete, to adopt herbal plants, make him measurable. “I see a lot of resistance,” Charity says. “Athletes want measurable results. They don’t care what they eat as long as their stats stay the same or you get better or better on the pitch.
“I became a chef for athletes because the first season I started cooking my husband and his closest friends (four guys) were eating my food and the rest of the guys would sit and watch them and be naysayers. And Derek would say, ‘I have to prove to them that I can do it.’ Derek takes opponents as his fuel, so he went from defenseman to linebacker and everyone thought he could never do that. That year Derek had the most tackles when he went vegan. “
“And all the guys watching sat wanted to sign up. Before the next season, I had 200 guys on my list who wanted to eat plant-based, so the resistance was there. [at first] but that’s how I meet people. “
5. It’s just about trying something. “After I ate my meals they usually say ‘if I could eat like this everyday I would be plant based,’ Charity says. So after they made 3 or 4 meals for them they would just tell me to do whatever they want. ”So find what you love to eat and cook it!
6. Have a backup plan. If you can’t always eat plant-based, then Happy Viking Protein Powder gives you 20 grams of complete protein, and the equivalent of a full cup of vegetable and fruit phytonutrients, according to Venus.
In addition to protein and nutrients, there are 2,800 mg of MCT oil (for brain health) and 32 mg of omega-3 DHA, plus 1 billion gut health probiotics in each serving of Happy Viking. Venus says she often skips breakfast most of the time, but knows she can catch up on her nutrient needs with a shake either after her morning workout or whenever she needs to refuel.
7. Make it affordable with plant-based proteins like rice, beans, and other tips.
“It’s expensive to eat healthy, and having access to food that we should naturally eat is a problem,” says Venus. “I love the opportunity to be able to condense these nutrients into one meal, so if you don’t have the opportunity to afford healthy meals at least, you know you get them in Happy Viking powders that will last you a lifetime. the day. You ‘get more for your value. ”Happy Viking costs $ 54 for a large container of powder, which comes down to just under $ 3.50 per serving when you buy it with the subscription plan. the company.
Watch exclusive videos from the event with Venus and Charity
Venus pointed out that not only does she love the flavor of Happy Viking, and the fact that everything is dairy free, but she also loves that each shake contains essential minerals that help build mental toughness when on the pitch, like DHA and Omega 3s, or as she called them “brain foods”.
Watch the video for the full conversation and learn how to eat more plant-based, what Williams and Morgan eat in a day, how to cook like a celebrity chef, and more. To follow that of the beet Instagram for additional exclusive content from the event.